Starbucks is updating its mobile application; the update will take effect on March 19 and allow consumers to tip anywhere from $.50 to $2 directly from their iPhones. App users will have a two hour window to add a tip to their payment. A push notification will remind Starbucks customers to tip.
“Customers using Starbucks App for iPhone in the U.S., U.K. and Canada will experience a streamlined design and easy access to their account and My Starbucks Rewards information. In addition, customers using the app will have the option to leave a tip at more than 7,000 company-operated Starbucks(R) stores in the U.S,” The Wall Street Journal explains. Many business owners are lauding Starbucks for the shift, confidently predicting that it “will extend the company’s leadership in mobile payment,” The Wall Street Journal continues.
Customers are, if anything, even more excited about the app. In fact, tipping via iPhone and/or smartphone was among the top suggestions on MyStarbucksIdea.com. “The Seattle-based company says the addition of the mobile tipping option is a response to demand from customers, many of who no longer carry around much cash,” NBC News adds. According to Time magazine, at least 11% of all payments processed by Starbucks originate from mobile phones; that breaks down to 5 million mobile purchases per week! “As more and more customers are using their phone to pay, they have also asked for a convenient and meaningful way to show their appreciation to store partners,” Starbucks’ group president for the United States and Americas, Cliff Burrows, says of the mobile update.
The application promises more than just convenience. NBC News reports Starbucks regulars’ opinions about whether to tip — and how much — are highly divided. Some argue that drinks and wares are already overpriced. Others are more than happy to reward friendly service with a generous tip. The application will afford consumers the opportunity to make a private decision about gratuity. An identical update for android phones is in the works. It will be released later this year.
“I think mobile will dominate retail markets that require a higher level of service that requires personal attention,” explains Mike Gross, Vice President, Sales and Marketing at Retail Management Solutions. “For example, pharmacies need to counsel patients, and therefore we’ve found that our mobile technologies have exceeded our expectations in this market.”